I felt like I haven’t been drawing at all, but hey look I just started this sketchbook a week ago and I already have a few drawings. And tonight I pencilled four pages! This is the first comicking I have done (except for Hourly Comic Day) in way too long. So that felt good.
The first page in a sketchbook is always tricky. I went with a Mega-j.
I have been enjoying drawing stuff in pencil, for the first time in… years? But it is doesn’t scan as well. I ran into the 7-11 Gnome last week, when Manien and I were staying in a hotel for a couple of days. Yeah, a lot going on. Maybe I will draw comics about it.
I was trying to draw some people I saw when I was out walking. Pencil again.
A lot has been going on in 2015 so far, including Manien and I preparing to sell our house. So it has not been too conducive to getting much drawn. I had been hoping to get this sketchbook finished by Friday, as then it would have taken me exactly a year to fill it. Oh well, close enough. Here are the last three drawings from it.
I thought these dishes were looking kind of monumental, so I decided to draw them. Once I got going I realized it was full of reflective surfaces, transparent items and all kinds of tricky stuff.
Found this cute house and view in Krugersdorp, South Africa (where Manien once lived), which I drew while listening to this interesting chat with Maja D’Aoust on the Duncan Trussell Family Hour. Fun fact, I was having trouble locating this town because in Afrikaans it sounds like “creers-dorp”.
And my traditional angry looking self-portrait, to finish up the sketchbook.
Stuff from early in the sketchook seems like a lot longer than a year ago.
As we approached the end of the year, a lot of people kept bemoaning how quickly the year went by. I did not feel that way, so I kept saying think back to September – doesn’t that seem like ages and ages ago? The heat of the summer and eating my lunches by the ocean? Ancient memory! My trip to Ontario in the spring?! Their snow had just finally melted the week before, memories of long ago. Anyways, my suggestion is that when you get that panic, slow down and think of all the incredible, horrible and magical things that have actually occurred in that time that “flew by”.
Another thing I keep noticing, and well it is one of my favourite topics: cars. Manien and I watched season two of Treme recently, and then have been watching Gilmore Girls. On one of the Gilmore Girls, Rory took a city bus to the fancy school she goes to. And I realized the ONLY reason anyone would ride public transit on TV is to show “Oh goodness, look how poor she is. She doesn’t even have A CAR!!” Since I don’t think that way about cars it was a surprising realization for me. Similarly on Treme, Antoine is always taking cabs to get to gigs – because he is so strapped for cash HE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A CAR!! It is amazing how much our media perpetuates these ideas of cars as a status symbol, a symbol of maturity, or conversely a lack of car as symbol that something is wrong with you. And then there is a car ad.
I was going to do a year in review type of thing, but I realized I have quite a few drawings I have done over the past month that I haven’t shared. Also when I looked back at a music mix I did in the spring, that seems like so so long ago! So many interesting books read too. Well I actually have the next two days off, maybe I will try to do a few best of items.
When I was visiting my brother in Ontario in December we decided one day to each do a small painting. It was great just hanging out, painting away. I was fixated on picnic tables that week, and a search on the internet turned up this strange and mysterious photo that I used as a basis for this painting.
I drew Mega-j fighting a giant robot.
Also in Ontario, I found this website that takes you to a random Google Street View location. Dangerously fascinating. Here is a house in Cambodia that it took me to.
I have still been drawing North Vancouver houses, getting myself warmed up for my next comic.
I have been trying to work out the town for the story. Where is the grocery store? Where is the high school? What is around that dive bar at the docks? Here is a drawing I did in Manga Studio, pondering these matters.
Well I was almost going to have an exciting link to buy my new comic in the store, but then I realized that I screwed up something with the resolution when I was printing and so it is not ready after all. Maybe for xmas?! You would think this is the first comic I have ever printed, and not the… 50th or whatever it is. To be fair, it is the first one I have attempted to lay out in InDesign. Here is the cover again. Now the cover is yellow.
Besides that? I have been drawing more houses. I did this one in colour thinking I would use it as a new header for my site here, but then I realized it is altogether the wrong shape. This is how things have been for me lately. Curious.
And here are the first few of some new bird comics I have done this week. It is sort of my version of newspaper strip, but you know. Without jokes, as such.
If you are a new visitor, coming over from Savage Chickens, hello! There are pages up there at the top where you can find plenty of my comics online to read for free. Also a store, where you can buy things.
You ever just want to stop using computers I have been experiencing technical difficulties. The new book was tantalizingly close to being ready to print, and it drifted further and further from getting done. Hopefully soon. Here is the cover as it currently stands.
If you aren’t one following me on Instagram (vinegar22), you may not have seen this thing I did the past couple of years. Every time I was walking up past the library at night, I would take a picture of this van that always sat in one corner of a parking lot, dramatically lit by the street lamp.
Then in September there was a notice saying the parking lot was closing October 1! And indeed on October 1, the van was gone. Discussing this with cartoonist friends, we thought some sort of commemoration of the van was in order. So I have started doing drawings from the van photos, as the Van Project. If anyone else is inspired to make art inspired by the van, please feel free to join in. The van photos can be found here.
While I have been struggling through my technical difficulties, one thing I did to sooth my aggravated soul was more North Van house drawings from Google Streetview. Here are a few of them.
Oh gosh it has been a while since I have updated this old thing. Back in the day, weekly True Loves updates at least compelled me to post here once a week. I have been busy drawing away the past month and a half. Why look, here I am doing a victory lap with the final page of The Adulation, just after finishing it yesterday.
So now I just have to scan it, do a cover, put it all together.
Here are some houses I drew.
And here is a super fascinating Paul Stamets talk I listened to in bits and pieces over the past week. Who would have thought fungi would be so interesting and have so many different incredible uses?
I guess I haven’t been updating here lately. Mostly I have been working on my comic “The Adulation” and don’t feel like posting it online right now. But look, comic pages are gradually being produced!
I recently had a lovely offer to go see Nick Cave next week, so I am going to be looking forward to that. He always puts on a great show. It just happened that I was drawing him on the first page of the Adulation right around then.
For some reason the Flying Lizards version of “Summertime Blues” popped into my head after dinner.
Which then got me thinking of their great version of “Money”.
Which reminded me that long ago I named a superhero the Flying Lizard. He was based on a wrestling outfit I made for myself. The mask was the sleeve of some old pajamas that I cut eyes, nose and mouth holes into. The nose and eyes tore and became one big hole. I don’t believe the Flying Lizard had any powers, he was a wrestler who became a superhero.
On a recent trip to Guelph I discovered a box in storage that contained the binder of superheroes my brother and I drew back in the 70s. Also the binder of revamped versions of many of them for the Marvel Superhero roleplaying game.
Another month slips by. I have been drawing, just not anything to post here. I have 20 pages of this comic pencilled and have just this week started inking it. Strange to be at that point of trying to figure out how I want this comic to look. With Farm School, I had a clearer idea of what I wanted it to look like. But it is good to feel it trundling forward. I got fairly derailed by STUFF in March and April, so unfortunately I won’t have it ready in time for VanCAF.
Let’s see, what have I been enjoying lately? Last week I read a fascinating article by Michael Pollan about plant intelligence. Plants are doing crazy things you have no idea about! It being spring, the garden is bursting into action and we’re eating lots of kale and asparagus. Thinking about plants got me thinking about my plant comics from the Year 40 Project.
At the comic jam a couple of weeks ago Brian Fukushima was showing me his latest comic, and it is one of those times when someone’s art seems to have taken this leap! It is this amazing stripped down style, tiny drawings with pencil crayons. It is a fantasy adventure type of thing and you can buy it here.
In anticipation of throwing out all my cassette tapes, I have been listening to mixed tapes I’ve made over the years. I put one on the other morning and the first song was “Stay 19” by the Wet Spots. And I very well may have been 19 when I made that tape, which would make it 24 years old. Sometimes I get lost in a fog of the past.
Here is a drawing of some people. It is me thinking about the cast of my next comic, whenever I get finished this current one. Much like the current one, it is weird to try to figure out what to do with the next one. Do I really want to start a project that may take years to finish? Should it be in colour? Should I print it or just have it available digitally? Decisions decisions. Finish the current one first! Anyways, who are all these people?!
I’ve been enjoying Father John Misty lately. No matter how dire my mood on the hill, it seems to work for me.
I suspect this song by Oberhofer may go on my next mixed cd.
And tonight I was listening to the WTF podcast talking with Wayne Kramer of MC5. I really don’t know their music, but it was quite a good chat, interesting all the ups and downs he’d been through. AND holy crap watch this band tear it up!